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Front. Vet. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fvets.2018.00294

A survey on human factors associated with transport related injuries in horses

 Barbara Padalino1, 2*, Chris W. Rogers3, Danielle Guiver3, Kirrilly R. Thompson4 and  Christopher B. Riley3
  • 1Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Italy
  • 2College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 3Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, College of Sciences, Massey University, New Zealand
  • 4University of South Australia, Australia

Injuries resulting from road transport are common in horses and are a potential welfare concern as well as a source of economic loss. An online cross sectional survey was used to determine the prevalence of road transport related injuries to horses in New Zealand and the association of human factors including demographics, industry background, training and the horse handling experience of the respondents with transport related injury. The survey generated 1133 valid responses that were analysed using descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. At least one injured horse was reported by 201/1133 (17.7%) respondents as occurring during the two previous years. Only 191 respondents chose to provide further information on when the injury occurred and most injuries (133/191; 69.6%) occurred in transit. The respondent perceived possible reason for injury was reported by 190, and was most frequently thought to be either horse-associated (87/190; 45.8%) or associated with a driver mistake (18/190; 9.5%). Variables that remained as significantly associated with injury in a multivariate model focusing on human factors were experience in horse handling, the industry sector, and the amateur or professional involvement with the horse industry. The odds of injury associated with professionals may reflect greater exposure due to more frequent transport and larger numbers of horses in their care than amateurs. Findings confirm that human factors are associated with the risk of an injury during transport. Although further studies are required to determine if any of these relationships are causative, education on transport best practices with consideration of these factors may mitigate their influence.

Keywords: transport, injury, horse, Risk factors, experience

Received: 04 Aug 2018; Accepted: 01 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Catherine M. Dwyer, Scotland's Rural College, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Ana C. Strappini, Southern University of Chile, Chile
Elisabetta Canali, Università degli Studi di Verona, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Padalino, Rogers, Guiver, Thompson and Riley. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Barbara Padalino, Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Valenzano (Bari), Italy, barbara.padalino@uniba.it